Tips for Surviving the New Retail Industry
The retail industry is a changing industry, very much like every other industry. And if one doesn't change with the times, then the internet will sweep everything away and leave those who can't change with it in the dust.
So how is the industry changing? E-tailers are making the online shopping experience nicer and nicer, which means the physical storefront is going to have to revamp and redefine its attractiveness to shoppers. With the internet having such an impact on shoppers, how can brick-and-mortar retailers adapt their business models and make their storefronts look more attractive? How can they survive the new retail industry? Here are some tips on how brick-and-mortar retailers can survive and thrive in this new and ever-changing industry:
Many retailers believe that online marketing and store marketing are competing businesses, when in fact each business can help the other to succeed. Consumers don't care where they get information about a product; they only care about the perceived value of the product and the convenience with which the product was obtained.
- Use both. Since both online and store marketing are useful and each channel works on their own, why not combine them? Use your online presence to enhance the shopping experience, both online and in-store.
- Redesign often. The traditional method of shopping was to go to retail stores once each season in order to find the new, stylish and fashionable trends. However, these days consumers shop all the time. Every time they go into a clothing store they expect to see something new. Those who encourage this trend instead of fighting it can really have success with their retail business if they do things to enhance this type of experience. Reorganizing your store layout and having a more rapid merchandise turnover can really enhance a discovery type of experience.
- Develop client/customer relationships. Design your storefront and homepage in a way that encourages customers to form relationships and discuss what's happening with the store and the industry. Customer relationships are vital to keeping the retail business up-to-date with the rest of the social media-frenzied world. Making connections and being more involved with your customers is very important these days. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media sites to keep your customers connected and in-the-know about what's going on in the retail industry.
Fernanda Bohme is the founder of Bohme Boutique.